In the wake of Pokemon Go and the success of architecturally-engaged video games like Monument Valley and Manifold Garden, a handful of surreal, interactive experiences are offering a fresh perspective in this new golden age of gaming.
Commissioned for the Triennale International Exhibition in Milan, the five games are all contemplative experiences rooted in spatial interaction or exploration. Beyond that, however, they have few similarities in terms of plot, play, or style.
The most interesting game for architecture buffs might be Neighbor by Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt. Players wander through boldly designed structures resembling the work of Ricardo Legorreta.
The Worm Room designed by Katie Rose Pipkin takes players through an unending labyrinth of connected greenhouses. LOCK by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn lets you explore a machine universe reflecting an earth-centered cosmology. A Glass Room by Pol Clarissou lets players manipulate a kind of projector showing images from Clarissou’s life.
The game Il Filo Conduttore feels a little like reaching into a classical still life painting. A set of realistically rendered objects sits on a shelf with a cord hanging down above them. Moving and pulling the cord creates different effects.
The Triennale app containing the games has been downloaded more than 160,000 times.